“The former Colorado governor decried a lack of unity in Washington, D.C., and criticized lawmakers who took a two-week recess before Congress could pass renewed unemployment benefits”
In case you missed it, the Coloradoan wrote about John Hickenlooper’s visit to Fort Collins where he met with unemployed workers who depend on expanded federal unemployment insurance — which the Senate let expire last weekend after taking a two week recess.
Over 330,000 Coloradans are depending on this critical support to pay rent and put food on the table, but Republicans like Mitch McConnell and Cory Gardner let the clock run out and are now proposing to slash the insurance program by two-thirds. John is urging Congress to get its act together and move quickly to renew the full $600 emergency extended unemployment insurance.
The Coloradoan wrote:
Speaking to the residents after they shared their experiences, the former Colorado governor decried a lack of unity in Washington, D.C., and criticized lawmakers who took a two-week recess before Congress could pass renewed unemployment benefits.
The $600 weekly unemployment benefit included in the CARES Act is set to expire this week. Republicans unveiled a plan earlier this week that would trim the benefit, which is on top of state unemployment payments, to $200 a week through September.
“It creates a sense that people’s suffering isn’t relevant,” Hickenlooper told the speakers of the delay. “There can be no question that when you push decisions off like that, that indecision is going to make your lives harder.”
Attendees of the campaign event said their lives have already been plenty hard since the coronavirus outbreak cost them their livelihoods.
Sarah Slaton is a local musician who’s toured nationally and does freelance work at music festivals and other events. She said she was denied state unemployment benefits because of a malfunction in the automated system, so now she has to wait for a scheduled phone call in September to sort out the issue.
“Every spoke in the wheel of work that I do is gone right now,” she said. “The extended unemployment benefits have been a lifeline for me. With that running out, I have a huge question mark on my financial future.”
Hickenlooper… said Congress needs to make a decision on the next stimulus bill, hopefully one that includes an extension of the $600 weekly benefit.
“Every time I talk to a bunch of people (in this situation) my stomach tightens,” he said. “I feel their stress. … There’s got to be a sense of urgency in Washington.”
“I’ve never been in a campaign where there’s such stark contrast between what I think we should’ve been doing for the last five years and what we’ve actually been doing for the last five years,” he added. “So much of the division and adversarial fighting — it just takes any crisis and it makes it worse.”
Read the full story HERE.